About the Conference

Tuesday 17th – Thursday 19th July 2012   University of York

The National Association for AONBs (NAAONB), and the Howardian Hills, Lincolnshire Wolds, Nidderdale and North Pennines AONB Partnerships, look forward to welcoming you to York 2012, the NAAONB’s 14th Annual Conference ‘Shaping nature on a landscape scale’.

The UK’s natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, our health and our wellbeing. Conference 2012 will look at how AONB partnerships and National Park Authorities (NPAs) work, at both a local and a national level, to conserve and enhance our natural environment. In particular, it will investigate how our partnerships are helping to deliver the key objectives of the Natural Environment White Paper and show that an investment in the Protected Landscape Family is an investment in the wellbeing of the nation.
Professor Sir John Lawton, author of “Making Space for Nature”, will open York 2012 with an overview of his report, which concluded that there was an urgent need for nurturing the UK’s natural environment. Responding in its Natural Environment White Paper, the Government committed to work to improve the quality of our natural environment and to halt the degradation of landscapes, the erosion of natural capital, and the decline in habitats and species. The Government aims to achieve this through more joined-up action at local and national level, to create an ecological network resilient to changing pressures. Conference speakers will show where and how well the Government’s commitments are being achieved in our Protected Landscapes, and their presentations will act as a catalyst for informed discussion throughout Conference 2012.

We look forward to welcoming the following highly regarded speakers to York: Richard Benyon MP, Defra Minister Maddy Jago, Head of Landscape, Natural England Roger Thomas, CEO, Countryside Council for Wales William Worsley, Former President, CLA and Local Landowner Gary Smith, Head of Conservation, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Lucy Barron, AONB Manager, Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership Rob Stoneman, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Jean Spencer, Director of Regulation, Anglian Water and Ed Gillespie, Co-founder, Futerra.

Introduction to field trips and workshops

In addition there will be a series of practically focused field trips to local AONBs and National Parks, to see examples of how the local AONB partnerships and NPAs are dealing with the challenges and opportunities laid before them. Whilst each field trip will be interesting and enjoyable in its own right, it will also focus on the landscape-scale approach. Workshops on the final morning will link to the Conference theme and information gathered from these, together with the workshop conclusions, will be summarised and included with post-Conference papers. These will then be uploaded to www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. The overall approach of the Conference is to demonstrate that the landscape-scale approach taken by AONB partnerships and NPAs locally makes the Protected Landscape Family, as a whole, a strategic national asset. Delegates will leave Conference knowing that AONBs and National Parks are vibrant, dynamic, functioning landscapes that help underpin the economy and the health and wellbeing of society. It will be clear that AONBs and National Parks are locally managed, nationally important, and deal with global issues. In short, delegates will depart secure in the knowledge that AONBs and National Parks are indeed Landscapes for Life.

Sponsors - Defra, CCW, Natural England, Northern Powergrid, Lincolnshire Co-operative, Craggatak Consulting, Europarc Consulting